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Which Camera Should I Buy?: Discuss 20D v. 10D...This is mainly for Steve since he commented on it in the MG, but I'd welcome opinions from anyone who ...
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Old 25-01-2005, 00:34   #1 (permalink)
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20D v. 10D

This is mainly for Steve since he commented on it in the MG, but I'd welcome opinions from anyone who has moved from a 10D to a 20D.

You say that you found the transition more difficult than you'd expected or hoped for. Is this just because of the menu structure and controls, or are there other pitfalls too? (If you say "Stick with the 10D" my bank manager/wife will love you. )
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Old 25-01-2005, 21:02   #2 (permalink)
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I've just weighed up the same argument and decided to get a new 10D rather than a 20D.

I looked at what extra features the 20D offered and to be quite honest they didn't really weigh up for me.

If you need a faster frame rate, bigger buffer, really high ISOs or the facility to use EF-S lenses then maybe you need a 20D. As it was the bigger buffer was the only one that i might miss, though with fast cards i can't see 7 frames being much of a limit.

To get the 20D would be heart over head. Yes i'd like a 20D, but i'd rather get a 10D then a 40D in 2 years time
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Old 25-01-2005, 21:07   #3 (permalink)
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I am sorry I have not yet replied to this post..so many things to do and so little time

I am currently working on a 20D review and also a comparison of that against the 10D. Hopefully they will be quite detailed and give an opinion of a user of both rather than a reviewer.

However as a quick overview to wet your appetite..

My opinion and why I changed for what its worth reads a little like thisÖI love the 10D, it really is everything it was and is, cracked up to be. I had never felt that the camera was holding me back at all. Its an absolute joy to handle and served me faultlessly for just a little over two years, I would even say that itís not even beginning to show its age yet, however I have a very good and close German friend who needed a DSLR for a trip to South Africa over the New Year and she contacted me for my advice. To cut a long story down I basically steered her in the direction of either a 10D or 20D if she felt that the extra cost and features would be warranted. She opted for a 10D but couldnít source one fast enough for the trip and made me an offer on mine that I simply couldnít turn down. Hence she now owns my baby and I was forced to buy a 20D.
Now here is the thing that you may think is crazy, although it is early days yet and being as I have only managed to get one days shooting in with the 20D, I still very much prefer the 10D. The 10D was second nature to me and I used to use it without thinking, it was almost an extension of my hands and consciousness. The 20D despite looking almost identical and having a very similar layout actually functions and behaves completely different. Maybe if it didnít resemble the 10D quite as closely it would not cause me as many problems. The reviews wonít tell you that, neither will they tell you that quality wise it is absolutely no better up to and inc ISO400. Ok, so its faster at starting, has a faster frames per second and carries the latest kudos, but to you and me these functions really donít make that much difference. A landscape is not going to alter that much in one second while you wait for the 10D to become active from off and we aim for as low as possible ISO for our type of photography. One real advantage however is its 8mp over the 10Dís 6mp and its improved noise at high ISOs but again something that I have noticed is the poorer quality viewfinder screen, not only is it much darker than the 10D but it also has a grainy appearance, especially when viewing bright objects/scenes. Thankfully this is not carried through to the pictures and both these cameras offer excellent results.

For yourself I would bypass the 20D and wait for whatever comes next unless you can justify the differences in cost from selling your 10D to buy a 20D. If I had not had the offer that I couldnít refuse I would still be using the 10D and even now, if I had to go back to it from the 20D, I would still be completely contented, yes the 10D really is that good.
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Old 25-01-2005, 21:46   #4 (permalink)
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I'm grateful for your views, Steve, and you've probably saved me some money. TBH the geatest limitation to the performance of my 10D is the idiot behind the viewfinder, and the 20D is unlikely to help there.

Right now I'm looking in the other direction - at something smaller and lighter than a DSLR kit as a replacement for my G2 which I've always been fond of as a go-anywhere camera. Favourites are the G6 or perhaps the Oly C7070 when it comes out next month. The G6 would be an automatic choice if it wasn't for the better wide-angle of the 7070, and the prices are about the same. So... another month or so before the wallet takes a hit again!
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Old 18-03-2005, 12:09   #5 (permalink)
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Just to bump this up with my situation

As much as I hate that my mate said "You'll be buying another one next year" and I said "No, this will last for a good 3 years", here I am considering it. The main reasons are gigs and low light situations. I need to use ISO800 and the pictures look as noisey as a mobile phone picture. I can use Neat Image but it softens the image. I've seen shots on the 20D at ISO3200 that don't look as noisey as the 10D at ISO800. Is this for real? Is it *that* good? What other benefits are there? Obviously theres the EF-S feature which would allow me to look at getting the ultra wide angle lens by Canon. But at £974 for the 20D + Kit lens, do I really need it? I guess the answer to that is how often do I shoot in low light. The answer to that being, at least every 2 / 3 months so far. Sure I could sell my 10D to partly fund it, but I would rather keep it as a spare. Hmmmmm. *shakes fist at credit card*
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Old 18-03-2005, 12:56   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petemc
Just to bump this up with my situation

I've seen shots on the 20D at ISO3200 that don't look as noisey as the 10D at ISO800. Is this for real? Is it *that* good? What other benefits are there? Obviously theres the EF-S feature which would allow me to look at getting the ultra wide angle lens by Canon. But at £974 for the 20D + Kit lens, do I really need it? I guess the answer to that is how often do I shoot in low light. The answer to that being, at least every 2 / 3 months so far. Sure I could sell my 10D to partly fund it, but I would rather keep it as a spare. Hmmmmm. *shakes fist at credit card*
:lol:

My credit card is still recovering at the moment. The ISO3200 setting on the 20D is actually an extra feature which is enabled through menus and is disabled by default. Is it that good? I wasn't a 10D user so I can't make the comparison, but at 3200, noise is definitely visible, particularly in low light as you'd expect. However the noise is very uniform and even compared to other digital cameras I've used, and very much resembles the grain structure you might expect to see from using very fast film, so it's quite acceptable. I'd have to say "Yes it's that good I suppose".

I love the 20D but as Steve said I doubt there's much mileage in anyone currently owning a 10D to upgrade to the 20D. It's a very fast camera to use, and coupled with a fast CF card, there's almost never a time when you can't press the shutter button for that next shot, even when you're making continuous exposures. The new EF-S lenses certainly address the problem with wide angle lenses, but I'm wary at the moment of commiting to buying too many of them. What if the full size sensor in the 1DS becomes available in this price range in the next two or three year? Not likely I admit - but possible. At the moment these lenses only fit the 20D, 300D and 350D and it would be a bit of a blow to see them become redundant, especially if you'd committed to buying a few of them!

Nice as the extra 2 million pixels is, I doubt you'd see any improvement in your shots unless you were making extremely large prints, although it does offer advantages in retaining image quality when cropping.

As I said, I love the 20D, the addition of digital filters for black and white shots is inspired, but I don't think anyone with a 10D should lose too much sleep over it, but wait for the next model from Canon - judging by this one, it's going to be something else!
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Old 18-03-2005, 14:36   #7 (permalink)
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I've decided to stick with the 10D, especially after reading Steve's comments. In low light, rather than ISO 1600 you could try shooting RAW at ISO 400 and -2EV (or ISO 800 and -1EV) and correct afterwards. :wink:
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Old 18-03-2005, 14:42   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silkstone
I've decided to stick with the 10D, especially after reading Steve's comments. In low light, rather than ISO 1600 you could try shooting RAW at ISO 400 and -2EV (or ISO 800 and -1EV) and correct afterwards. :wink:
True. I was shooting ISO800 last night and still had to boost it +2EV in RAW and then use Neat Image to tidy it up. While the image looks a bit soft, its not *as* noisey. I'm sure the client will be happy but I myself just can't stop seeing the problems with the images. The other glitch with shooting at ISO400/800 and then boosting them in RAW is that I get pitch black shots and have to hope they come out later. Its like using film
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Old 18-03-2005, 14:56   #9 (permalink)
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There's another side to this coin.

I Spent a couple of hours with Steve and his 20D, trying to shoot one of my favorite little creatures the red squirrel.
Now while my nimble 10D armed with the 100-400 f4.5 was struggling to lock on to the subject, causing me to miss lots of shots, Steve was getting focus lock and bursting off about 2 to 3 shots at a time (Steve's camera was armed with the 70-200 f4 and maybe a tele converter).

The faster focus lock is one reason to change to the 20D, which quite a lot of wildlife photographers have already done.
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Old 18-03-2005, 18:18   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
She opted for a 10D but couldnít source one fast enough for the trip and made me an offer on mine that I simply couldnít turn down. Hence she now owns my baby and I was forced to buy a 20D.
That is the best excuse.... ever :wink: :P
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Old 18-03-2005, 19:07   #11 (permalink)
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unfortunately I have just walking in from a hard day at work but would like to add quite a lot to this thread. I need to get cleaned up and feed my face and then I will write out a few thoughts for you guys. Hopefully some of it will help you with your decicisons
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Old 18-03-2005, 19:12   #12 (permalink)
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Peter a bit OT but have you tried Noiseware? It can be adjusted a lot and doesnt soften images too much unless you crank up the settings.....

carry on with your 10/20d discussions...
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Old 18-03-2005, 21:03   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, letís start from the beginning and try to post my opinions from a personal perspective of someone who reluctantly changed from the 10D to the 20D and now feels that I have had enough time with the 20D to give it a fair assessment. This is not going to be a review, more of a differences between the two in use.

As you can see from my first reply to Silkstone and as most of you know I have been using Canon 10Dís for about 2 years both personally and professionally. I have probably shot in excess of 10,000 pictures a year on these cameras and so believe I have a fairly good understanding of their capabilities and limitations. I recently, due to circumstances changed my personal 10D to a 20D, this was not really personal choice as I had intended sticking with the old trustworthy 10D but circumstances offered me a situation that I couldnít really turn down, so a 20D owner I became.

First the niggles..

I had obviously seen the Canon news release and was familiar with the specifications and main differences. I also took the time to read the reviews from a few of the more trustworthy sites to gain a broad idea of what Canon had changed and achieved. My initial opinion of the camera however was a letdown. The camera itself is slightly smaller and appears almost identical in layout, it build quality is almost identical but its reduced weight sort of gives the impression of the camera not being as sturdy. The smaller size suits me as I never shot with the battery grip on the 10D, but I can see it being an issue for some of the people with larger hands. Canon offer a new battery grip for the 20D but there are all sorts of issues with that currently. Some people are reporting it loosing power and flexing, draining one battery much quicker than the other, giving false power readings and even coming loose from the camera itself. Canon Europe have not admitted to any faults but Canon USA have, and offer a modification to rectify the issues. It is still a gamble though as to weather you will get a good or bad version of the grip but luckily it isnít likely to affect me, and so didnít figure in my pros and cons when looking at the camera.

There are a few small differences to the button layout and accessing some of the functions and extended functions. The small multi-directional joystick struck me as being too small and too fiddly, making it next to impossible to use and a really bad execution of what essentially an excellent idea. Initially it was a complete pain to use and often resulted in me selecting the incorrect focus point, with time I have adapted though and can now make it do what I want quickly. I must point out that I have only used the camera in fair weather though and as soon as I need to use my gloves I can see this situation being tricky at best and probably a nightmare. The custom functions do allow for selecting the focus points by the jog wheel but it still makes me wonder about the thought that has gone into the joystick size.

I was again disappointed to note that despite the majority of users asking for the ISO setting to be displayed permanently, it has again been ignored by Canon. It can be seen by pressing one button but many times you just wonít check and could find yourself shooting at the wrong settings, this is a simple omission once again by Canon. Canon has also ignored the many requests to make the camera not stop writing images to the card if the Card door is opened. This is almost criminal as it could result in lost pictures that are being written from the cameraís now improved buffer if the cameraís card door is accidentally opened. Another simple oversight maybe but these two requests can be seen going back years and through several models.

My last and biggest niggle as someone who has taken the so called upgrade path from the 10D to the 20D is the difference in what is seen through the two viewfinders. The 10D was clear, bright and sharp, the 20D by comparison is dark, dull and extremely grainy. This can not be seen so much indoors or when viewing darker scenes but get it outside in normal light and it becomes apparent, put it into bright light and it shows just how bad it is. This is not an upgrade and a very bad move in my opinion by Canon. On a DSLR we are very reliant on what we see through the viewfinder and this should therefore be clear, bright and not grainy. The 10D was great and if they had utilised the same level of clarity I would have been very happy but as it is, I still notice it every time I use the camera. I had hoped that I would adjust with time and tune it out but it still continues to bug me three months down the line.


Now the good bits..


The 20D is quick to startÖvery quick. I donít believe I ever missed a shot with the 10D due to waiting for it to power up but I did set it to stay on for 8mins thus avoiding start-ups as often as possible. The 20D is as near to being instant and you can get and will be ready to shoot quicker that you can frame your subject, this has led me to set the stay on time to 2mins which will result in improved overall battery life. Whist talking about battery life, here again the 20D is improved, I have not checked exactly but I would estimate the 20D to be giving me approximately 300 more shots from a battery than my 10D did. Your mileage may vary but it is certainly less power hungry.

Image quality - there has been much said and written about the reduced noise visible in the 20D images. In the real world I have found that up to ISO 400 there is virtually no difference in the noise visible between the two cameras. Take the 20D over ISO 400 and the noise levels are excellent, pictures retain their saturation and detail in the shadows, the blue and red channel noise is kept firmly under control. Take it higher to ISO800 and using the camera at ISO 1600 becomes almost a no brainer if the circumstances require it. It returns images that are very useable without being run through any third party noise reduction. On the 10D I have used ISO1600 on occasions where I had no alternatives and knew that I would have to spend time recovering the Images and reducing the noise. I now have the same opinions on the 20D but instead of ISO 1600 we are talking about ISO3200, yes the 20D really is that good. Incidentally ISO 3200 is still selected by enabling it first in the custom functions, the same as on the 10D. That doesnít necessarily mean it shouldnít be used and I used to have it enabled on the 10D permanently so it could be selected when required. Why unnecessarily limit a cameraís functions through menus as long as you remember that it is there?

The 20D had a larger pixel count on the sensor than the 10D (and despite what you might think it also uses a different sensor to the 350D) The 20D benefits from 8.2mp while the 350D has a 8mp and the 10D uses a 6.2mp. The images from the 20D initially are disappointing. You will find that coming from a 10D the images appear much softer and contain very slightly more saturated reds. I initially thought I had a mis-calibrated model but after doing some tests I quickly realised that the camera is more neutral in balance by design. The images respond much more favourably to sharpening than the 10D did, keeping noise low and again retaining their silky smooth appearance. I am led to believe by Canon that this was a deliberate approach and is mirrored in their high end cameras, they prefer to allow the photographer to adjust the image afterwards to get the results as required. Sometimes a softer image is required but others, a pin sharp image will hit the mark. With the 20D this range of variance is apparent. I have to say that this may not suit everyoneís taste though as some will not want to play around with images in PSP or Photoshop afterwards to get presentable photos. On the other hand, the in camera options will allow for adjustments to saturation, colour balance, contrast and sharpness which can be applied by the camera at the time of the shoot. How good these perform in comparison to using PSP or Photoshop I cant say as I have them set an defaults and prefer to do all my adjustments afterwards. Either way on a camera of this level, the photography is always just going to be part of the whole process of getting a final image. The larger sensor obviously returns a larger image which can allow for retaining quality when cropping or larger high quality prints.

The internal buffer speed and size has been improved to cope with the improved burst shooting speed. As CT has stated, when coupled with a fast CF card the 20D offers almost continuous shooting of 5fps and I have not managed to get locked out yet. Couple this with the improved, faster focus and you have a powerful camera with speed that has previously not been available at this price range. How much faster is the focus? Initially it appears not much but when it counts the 20D shows that it has been improved significantly. Matt has already offered one instance where this was visible and my recently posted photograph of the eagle in flight is another example. I had tried unsuccessfully to capture this shot last year on the 10D in almost identical lighting. This year I was able to track the bird and shoot a burst of 8 pictures all of which are perfectly in focus. I would like to think that it was my photography skill that had improved and allowed this, but in reality it is the technology advances that Canon have made and put into the 20Dís focusing that caught the pictures. I can see why wildlife photographers are making the switch for this alone.


My initial impressions have somewhat changed as I have become more familiar with the 20D. There are still some things that I can not understand why Canon have made them like they have, and there are areas that still need improving. However I am now happy with the 20D and donít regret the change. I am learning the ways around the menus and functions and hope that I can still tune out the grainy viewfinder screen with time (ever the optimist ) There is no doubt that it is a great camera but its not perfect.

Well thatís the main differences from a personal point of view of someone who has owned both. The 10D is better in some areas and the 20D much better in others. If you think the improvements made on the 20D would benefit your style/type of photography and you can justify the upgrade cost, then you will be a happy bunny. On the other hand, if you donít need the extras then the 10D is still a worthy and excellent camera, one that even today I would be happy to go back to.

If you are on the market for a new camera in this price range then it should seriously be considered and if you have never looked through a 10D viewfinder you may not even notice the grainy view that the 20D shows you


Hopefully that helps some of you out and covers your questions, if you need any more info or further opinions please ask. I am a slow typist but will promise to answer if I can
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Old 18-03-2005, 21:37   #14 (permalink)
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Good write-up Steve. That joystick is a great idea ruined in the execution. I find my thumb groping all over the back of the camera before I find it.
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Old 18-03-2005, 21:48   #15 (permalink)
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My problem is not finding it, more that the amount of movement between each selection point is so tiny that acurately selecting one is difficult. Such a good idea not executed very well
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Old 19-03-2005, 08:21   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CT
Good write-up Steve. That joystick is a great idea ruined in the execution. I find my thumb groping all over the back of the camera before I find it.
Imagine whats its like if your wearing gloves :roll:

[edit] I must read the full thread before posting [/edit]
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Old 19-03-2005, 11:22   #17 (permalink)
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Peter a bit OT but have you tried Noiseware? It can be adjusted a lot and doesnt soften images too much unless you crank up the settings.....

carry on with your 10/20d discussions...
I'm currently trying it now and its far better than Neat Image. My images are coming out fine now, or at least usable That saves £974. One of the problems I was having was that I had to increase the exposure by +2 in RAW, and then if I wanted to convert them to black and white the noise just killed it. I imagine the same would occur even on a 20D. But now I can at least convert some to black and white.

Thanks for the long write up Steve. While you are selling it to me on the ISO front, and the faster focus lock, I really must try and wait for the 30D
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Old 19-03-2005, 12:31   #18 (permalink)
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Steve - just a 'thank you' for taking the time to give us an update.
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Old 19-03-2005, 14:35   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petemc
Thanks for the long write up Steve. While you are selling it to me on the ISO front, and the faster focus lock, I really must try and wait for the 30D
You are very welcome. Now don't go starting the 30D rumours you know how soon comments like that are misquoted :lol:
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Old 19-03-2005, 14:37   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by silkstone
Steve - just a 'thank you' for taking the time to give us an update.
Cheers, I know that you had already made up your mind to wait but hopefully it made a interersting read anyway
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Old 20-03-2005, 11:52   #21 (permalink)
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Something I found When I had a little play with Steve's 20D, was that it is too small for my hands. I don't have big hands either.
I could only hold the camera with 2 fingers and my thumb (plus the shutter finger). This caused my little finger to ache quite a bit.
It may have been different if the grip was attached.
This would need to be considered if you were thinking of buying one.
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Old 20-04-2005, 16:24   #22 (permalink)
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Excellent post, have had my Canon 10D and just love it to bits, mind you started with CanonA1, EOS 600 (lovely little camera) and loads of Minoltas, Pentax Spotmatics 11, but my 10D + my little G5 + a OlympusMju300 for the car (just in case their is something outthere wanting to be photographed) also I might add no resale price on old slr's so have kept the lot, must have about 12 cameras..........do you think they are addictive.
Anyway my first post on what seems a very interesting forum.
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Old 20-04-2005, 16:45   #23 (permalink)
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Hello Angus and welcome!
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Old 20-04-2005, 19:50   #24 (permalink)
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welcome angus, thanks for the kind words
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Old 20-04-2005, 20:02   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Angus
Excellent post, have had my Canon 10D and just love it to bits, mind you started with CanonA1, EOS 600 (lovely little camera) and loads of Minoltas, Pentax Spotmatics 11, but my 10D + my little G5 + a OlympusMju300 for the car (just in case their is something outthere wanting to be photographed) also I might add no resale price on old slr's so have kept the lot, must have about 12 cameras..........do you think they are addictive.
Anyway my first post on what seems a very interesting forum.
Hi Angus, welcome to the forums. Thanks for the kind words, hopefully the words have been of some help to you or at least interesting to read.

You are so right about the resale value of our equipment, as the speed of manufacturers development is so rapid they quickly release new and "better" models forcing many to upgrade and the value of the older models to plummet. Sometimes it is a better option to keep hole of our older equipment.
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Old 07-06-2006, 20:21   #26 (permalink)
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Re: 20D v. 10D

Great Advice from great Photographers Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2006, 20:23   #27 (permalink)
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Re: 20D v. 10D

Welcome Angus and enjoy the Company.
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Old 22-07-2006, 00:47   #28 (permalink)
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Re: 20D v. 10D

thats helpful advice for me too! thanks! (still havent upgraded yet )
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